We all know how important water is to our backyard birds, and that remains especially true for those arriving from their long flights back to their breeding and nesting grounds. For those of us working hard to provide a reliable water source for birds year round, it can be challenging to keep our winter bird baths in tip-top shape without the help of a portable heater or a completely heated bird bath.
For those of us without the luxury of heat in our water sources, this is a vital time of year to get out and ensure your bird bath(s) are clean, safe and ready for the soon to come an influx of birds to our backyard. The winter months can leave behind a variety of debris, dirt and possible parasites in our bird baths, particularly if you might not have had a chance to tend to them all winter long.
If you live in an area that seems to have winter hanging around longer than we all want, we always suggest keeping the heating sources in use, if you are so equipped, to protect against freezing if and when the temperatures dip. If not, this is a great time to head outside to tidy up the yard, bring your bird baths into a warmer temperature and allow them to thaw out.
Like winter, the beginning of spring provides some challenges for your bird bath and can at times, be a daunting task to keep them clean. Here are a couple of tips for getting your bird baths started, clean and safe for your incoming birds.
Clean Them Up!
This is an obvious one, as we said, often baths will be filthy after the snow melts. Bring them indoors and give them a chance to completely thaw. Once thawed, give them a good clean with an environmentally friendly cleaning product to protect our feathered friends. During the wet season, it is a good idea to keep cleaning your baths out once or twice a week, depending on the weather conditions.
Proper Placement & Fresh Water
Moving forward, all season long, you will want to keep the water fresh. Be sure to change the water daily or more if needed. Keep an eye on your yard and be sure to pick a clear area for your bath to keep the water warm and also protect against any falling debris like petals and leaves. Adding a stream or dripper to your bath will attract birds as well as protect the water from freezing if temperatures happen to head below the freezing mark.